Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-Intruders jump fence at U.S. nuclear reactor with bomb-grade fuel

Reuters | San Francisco | Updated: 11-07-2019 22:52 IST | Created: 11-07-2019 22:46 IST
UPDATE 1-Intruders jump fence at U.S. nuclear reactor with bomb-grade fuel
Image Credit: Pixabay

Two people jumped a security fence at a GE Hitachi research reactor near San Francisco, the U.S. nuclear power regulator said on Thursday, raising concerns over a plant that is one of the few in the country that uses highly enriched uranium, a material that could be used to make an atomic bomb. The intruders jumped a security perimeter fence at the Vallecitos reactor in Alameda County on Wednesday afternoon, a 1,600-acre (647.5-hectare) site about 40 miles (64 km) east of San Francisco, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on its website in a security threat notice.

Shortly afterwards the intruders "exited the area when being approached by security prior to being detained," it said. The plant notified local law enforcement and state emergency services about the event. The NRC notice did not say that the plant is one of the few in the country to use highly enriched uranium, or HEU. Such plants have been under pressure from nonproliferation interests to convert to low-enriched uranium, or LEU, a material that cannot be used to make a bomb.

GE Hitachi Nuclear is a venture between General Electric Co and Hitachi Ltd. A General Electric official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the individuals "did not breach the inner perimeter fence nor access any buildings or operational areas and were immediately approached by security." GE did not respond to a question about the amount of HEU at the plant. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NRC limits the amount of unirradiated HEU at research and test reactors to less than what would be needed to build a nuclear bomb device. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the amount of HEU at the plant. The security significance of the event at Vallecitos was unclear, but "it highlights the continuing danger posed by nuclear reactors fueled with nuclear bomb-usable materials such as highly enriched uranium," said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist and nuclear power safety expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group.

"These reactors should convert to safer fuels or shut down," he said. In a letter to the NRC in April, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Jeffrey Smyly, a regulatory compliance manager at GE, said that there was not funding available from the U.S. Department of Energy to convert the reactor fuel to LEU.

Also Read: NGT directs Haryana to reduce 'leisurely' timeline for waste-to-energy plant installation

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Lamp for COVID 19: Modi needs to practice his teachings and control fake news on social media

In his video message to the nation on Friday the Prime Minister talks about peoples collective power to win the invincible. However, he has made no concreate efforts to win over the confidence and represent the collective power of the polit...

Tourism post-COVID 19: Lessons learned, out-of-box strategies to ensure the revival

In the pre-COVID 19 period the tourism industry was seen with much hope throughout the world. However, the COVID 19 pandemic has completely paralysed the tourism industry and its dependent sectors. The tourism industry in the post-COVID 19 ...

Cybersecurity post-COVID 19: More internet means more threats, stay alert folks!

When supported by adequate digital awareness campaigns and more crackdowns on cybercrimes, increased internet usage will help more people embrace technology and better understand the risks, bringing us closer to unleashing the true potentia...

Rising temperatures in India seem to counter the spread of COVID 19 infections

Scary predictions on the rate of spread of COVID 19 infections in India are floating in media. But the data on the spread of infections coming so far point to a contrary trajectory putting a question mark on such predictions. Explanations o...


Latest News

COVID-19: Harmeet Desai urges people to follow PM Modi's appeal to light candles on April 5

Indian table tennis player Harmeet Desai on Friday urged people to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modis appeal to countrymen to light diyas and candles on April 5 at 9 pm to fight the darkness spread by the pandemic. In this tough time when...

Ration shop owner booked for irregularities in distribution in UP's Shamli

A fair price shop owner has been booked for alleged irregularities in distribution of goods in the neighbouring Shamli district, an official said on FridayAfter receiving complaints of irregularities in distribution and black marketing agai...

UK facing Depression-style hit as firms slump in March

Britains economy looks set for a slump that in the short term could be deeper than during the depression of the 1930s, as a survey showed the coronavirus crisis caused a record downturn among services and manufacturing firms in March. The c...

‘Professional PIL shops’ must be locked down during COVID-19 pandemic: Centre to SC

The Centre Friday strongly opposed the petitions filed by activists for payment of wages to migrant workers who have been left without work due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown in view of coronavirus pandemic saying till the country comes ...

Give Feedback